3A Regional this Saturday for Pawhuska track squads

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
3A Regional this Saturday for Pawhuska track squads

It was by necessity that Pawhuska High School’s Ormand Beach Memorial Stadium became the site for Monday’s Big Eight HS Conference track and field meet — talented local athletes took care of the rest.

PHS easily won the meet’s girls’ team championship by a wide margin. Despite cool and rainy conditions (plus some pre-existing health and wellness problems), the Lady Huskies amassed a points’ total of 214, which was 80 more than the runners-up from Tonkawa.

The rapidly-improving Pawhuska boys’ squad could not quite keep up to the Tonkawa boys — who finished with 136 points. But, with 114, the Huskies were more than 30 points better than third-place Pawnee.

After Blackwell High announced last week that it would not be hosting the meet, as had been planned, coach Mark Frye and the Pawhuska School District stepped in to prevent the meet’s cancellation.

“I felt like our team needed to be in a meet before heading to Saturday’s Regional (at Chisholm High School in Enid),” Frye said.

Conference gold medal-winners for the Lady Huskies included junior Sarah Phillippi, who won the 300 hurdles and was a member of the 400-, 800- and 1600-meter relay squads. Pawhuska freshman Aubrie Walker earned twin golds by winning the 1600- and 3200-meter distance events. PHS junior, Haley Mouser, was the high-jump champion and a member of the 1600 relay. Another junior, Danae Laird, won the 100-yard dash and ran on the winning 400 relay.

PHS freshman Star Sweeden edged out Laird to win the 200-meter run and Lady Huskie junior Erica Barker was the champion in the discus. The other two runners on Pawhuska’s 400-meter relay unit — which posted an impressive time of 51.78 seconds — were sophomore Darienne Frye and freshman Kylie Riebel. Senior Kortney Barnhart, Riebel and Frye completed the quartet for the 800 relay. The Pawhuska relay team of Riebel, junior Genie Herren, Madelain Priest and freshman Haley Towell won the 4x800 event.

First-place medalists for the Pawhuska boys team included sophomore Warren Graves, who won the 100-meter dash and helped take the gold in the 400 relay. (He also placed second in the 200-meter event.) Joining Graves on the triumphant 400-meter relay unit were juniors J.R. Young and Mathew Taft and freshman Brian Jeffers. (The same four-man quartet finished a close second in the 800-meter relay.) Sophomore William Merrell won a gold medal for the 800-meter run. (Merrell also placed third in the high jump and ran fourth at 1600 meters.

Other schools assigned to the Chisholm Regional are Astec, Hennessey, Lindsay, Millwood, Newkirk, Nowata, Oklahoma Bible Academy, Perkins-Tryon, Perry, Riverside and Victory Christian. Three more 3A Regionals will be held Saturday in Okmulgee, Madill and Luther.


Last Friday, Pawhuska teams finished eighth in both the boys’ and girls’ divisions at the Catoosa High School Track-and-Field Meet.

Winning performances came from the two PHS junior standouts — Phillippi and Mouser — who accounted for over half of Lady Huskies’ 38-point total. Phillippi blazed to victory in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 48.61 seconds, which put her more than a second in front of the race’s runnerup. Mouser won the high jump by a four-inch margin, although the height she cleared — 5 feet, 4 inches — was fairly pedestrian, at least for her. Barely missing out on a medal was PHS freshman Ashley Henley, who placed fourth in the girls’ shot put. Henley’s top throw of 31 feet, 9 1/2 inches exceeded her previous best distance by well over three feet.

Medal-winning sophomores Graves and Merrell led the effort for the PHS boys’ squad, which compiled 28 points.

Graves ran a close second in the 200-meter event with a time of 23.19 seconds, which was a fraction behind the winner. The splendid sprinter was a third-place finisher at 100 meters where his time (11.27 seconds) was a mere 3/100ths of a second behind the runnerup and just three-tenths of a second off the winner’s pace. Merrell placed second in the high jump following a successful leap of six feet, which matched the top effort of the meet’s first-place jumper.

Several Pawhuska athletes were bothered by a variety of ailments at the Catoosa meet, which had entries from 22 schools in Class 3A and below. Okemah won the boys’ team championship and Spiro took first in the girls’ division. Other top 3A teams included Adair, Beggs, Millwood, Tahlequah Sequoyah and Vian.

Also scoring points for the Lady Huskies in Catoosa were:

— the 4x200 relay team (composed of Phillippi, sophomore Frye, freshman Riebel and senior Barnhart) which finished fourth in 1:52.43 behind first-place Spiro’s winning time of 1:49.24;

— freshman Walker, who finished fifth in the 1600-meter event;

— the 4x100 relay (Phillippi, Barnhart, Laird and Frye) which placed sixth in the finals after having the fifth-fastest qualifying time.

In addition to winning the high jump and running a leg on the 1600 relay, Mouser placed fifth in the 400-meter run. Freshman Star Sweeden competed in both the 100-meter run and the 100 hurdle event.

For the Huskies, Jeffers competed in the 100 and joined Young, Graves and Taft in running fifth in the 800 relay. Taft also placed sixth in the long jump. The same Pawhuska boys’ placed seventh in 4x100 relay. Tristen Tucker just missed scoring points for PHS in the 3200-meter event where he finished seventh.